By News-Register staff • 

McMinnville softball, baseball score state playoff upsets

TUALATIN -- McMinnville softball earned its spot in the OSAA Class 6A state playoffs with an automatic berth, finishing third in the Class 6A Greater Valley Conference standings.

So Grizzlies head coach Courtney Seifert and her staff expressed umbrage toward her players about the team's No. 27 seed, the sixth-lowest in the field of 32.

"We more just wanted them to know that we didn’t feel that was a realistic representation of how good they are," Seifert said. "Which is good. I wanted people taking us for granted in the postseason."

No. 6 Tualatin, McMinnville's 6A state first-round opponent, can vouch on their behalf.

Payton Hudson held the Timberwolves without a run over the final six innings and the Grizzlies played clean defense behind her in a 4-1 victory Monday night at Tualatin High School, putting McMinnville in the second round of the state playoffs for the first time since 2012.

Hanna Young went 4-for-4 and scored two runs for McMinnville, also driving in Carly Loving for a sixth-inning run. Defensively, the Grizzlies (16-12)  committed zero errors to Tualatin's three.

Sydnee Reeser and Sydni Dix also had base hits for the Grizzlies.

"We just did the simple things right and executed and put the ball in play," Seifert said. "That went a long way for us."

The 27-over-6 upset was the largest upset since the 2014 Tualatin softball team, then ranked No. 3 in Class 6A, lost to No. 30 South Medford in the first round.

McMinnville will play No. 11 Tigard in the 6A state playoffs second round Wednesday at a time to be determined. The Tigers eked out an 11-10 victory in 10 innings against No. 22 Sunset in the first round Monday.

Baseball

McMinnville 3, Aloha 1

ALOHA -- Kade Mechals delivered for McMinnville baseball two ways, helping the No. 22 Grizzlies upset the No. 11 Warriors in Monday night's OSAA Class 6A state playoff first-round game at Aloha High School.

Mechals pitched a complete-game two-hitter (the only Aloha run was unearned), walking one and striking out 11 on the mound. Mechals, who has allowed two earned runs in 44 1/3 innings pitched for McMinnville this season, improved his record on the mound to 8-0.

"He picked a heckuva game to have his best game," Grizzlies head coach Jordan Harlow said.

Mechals broke the game open with his bat in the top of the seventh inning, hitting an RBI triple that brought home pinch runner Colton Smith. The Warriors intentionally walked Sam Swenson to get to Nathan Leid, whose squeeze bunt allowed Mechals to come home.

As Aloha struggled to break Mechals, the Grizzlies struggled to gain traction with Warriors starter Brandon Eisert. Eisert allowed seven hits and four walks to McMinnville batters but struck out seven hitters and let a single run cross the plate in his six innings pitched.

"He threw a really great game, and it was really just a kudos to our hitters," Harlow said. "Our hitters stayed with him."

McMinnville (17-11) will play at No. 6 Clackamas in the 6A state second round Wednesday at a time to be determined. The Cavaliers, runners-up in the Class 6A Mt. Hood Conference, barely defeated No. 27 North Salem, 2-1, in Monday's first round.

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